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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 36, September 6, 2009, Article 22

THE U. S. FRIGATE CONSTELLATION MEDALS

Russ Sears forwarded this additional information about his query to Wendell's of Minneapolis regarding the U. S. F. Constellation medals. -Editor

There has been some documentation about U. S. F. Constellation medals made in the early 1960's using, in part, copper from the spikes of the ship. The medals made for the Constellation by the U. S. Mint in 1972 have also been documented because the mint has good records of what they make. There has not been information for the other 1972 medal.

U.S.Frigate Constitution medal obv U.S.Frigate Constitution medal rev

Our illustrated medals were made to celebrate the 175th anniversary of both the U. S. F. Constellation and the incorporation of the City of Baltimore, 1797 - 1972. Over the years, I wondered who issued the medals, for what purpose they were issued, and how many were made. At a Maryland TAMS meeting, Richard Kaminski loaned me a booklet from Southwest Medallion, Designers of Commemorative Medallions & Art.

The booklet from Southwest Medallion included what appeared to be press releases or advertisements for various commemorative medallions and information promoting issuing a medallion

When I called Southwest Medallion, Mr. Leo B. Comallie who owned the company (it is no longer in operation) advised me that he did not remember a ship medal. In conversation with him, we discussed that he did marketing, customer service and design of the medal to be made. The actual striking of the medal was likely done by Wendells of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It appears that Wendells struck the medals which were available to the public for free based on making a donation to the Constellation

According to the advertisement, which looks like it may have appeared in Coin World or Numismatic News, the following were made and available for distribution:

25,000 Bronze Donation of $ 3.00
100 serial numbered Silver Donation of $ 20.00
10 serial numbered 24 karat gold Donation of $ 250

One serial numbered platinum was sold by sealed bid to the highest bidder, opened by the mayor of Baltimore on November 1.

Months passed since we sent an email to the president of Wendells with questions about the medal. Unfortunately we did not receive an answer. We wanted to confirm that the gold medal was actually 24 karat (pure gold) and requested the content of the platinum piece. So, even though we have uncovered some information, there are still unanswered questions.

THE BOOK BAZARRE

DAVID SKLOW - FINE NUMISMATIC BOOKS Sale #8, Saturday October 3, 2009, CATALOG been mailed and is posted on my web site www.finenumismaticbooks.com. PH: (719) 302-5686, FAX: (719) 302-4933. EMAIL: numismaticbooks@aol.com USPS: Box 6321, Colorado Springs, CO. 80934. Contact me for your numismatic literature needs! Coming soon: highlights from the Q. David Bowers Research Library Sale Part I February 13, 2010.


Wayne Homren, Editor

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